When religion does cause a change in the life of a person, there is joy for often we see little that differentiates us from those without a religion. Korea because of the suicide rate being so high is doing everything possible to determine the causes and to find remedies. In the recent study by the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare, reported on the front page of the Catholic Times, those with a religion had a lower rate of suicides than those without a religion, and Catholics were the lowest of all those with a religion.
the many reasons, we have for suicides; suicides
because of honor and feelings of guilt are often seen in Asia. The recent suicide of the vice
principal of the high school who was rescued from the sinking ferry
that was carrying students from his high school, was found dead two
days later hanging from a tree with a belt. He expressed regret having
survived while so many died. Suicides are motivated by many different
reasons and are often, not like the vice principal, contemplated for
long periods of time.
Korean Ministry of Health and
Welfare in 2013 reported that those who attempted suicide 65.5 percent had no religion. The experts in the field say that the spirituality
of the religious person helps them to overcome the hardships and
hopelessness they encounter in life. The numbers of those who
attempted suicide, 3.5 percent were Catholic; Buddhists were 9.4 percent, and
Protestants were 16 percent.
The article mentions the reasons
the Catholics had a low rate of suicide were the small parish groups,
the work of the Legion of Mary and the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and
the constant teaching on the respect for life that has influenced our
Catholics to avoid suicide as a solution to their problems. Since the
study showed a correlation of the number of suicides with the religious
belief, there are those who think the Church should make efforts to
spread the strong points of their teaching on the respect of life.
investigation by the ministry was an attempt to decrease the number of
suicides. This is the first study that was national in scope to study
the mental state of those who killed themselves. Interviews with those
who attempted suicide and their families determined the ways they killed
themselves and the dangers that prepared one for such an extreme
solution to their problems.
One religious sister at the
'One Heart and One Body Movement Suicide Center' in Seoul said: "Each
one of us needs to be filled with the joy of the Gospel, each of us to
be interested in our neighbors, to extend our hand to others, to
approach others and listen to them. This will help decrease the numbers
of suicides and to do this we have to change our vision and our way
of thinking." In order to do this many say that the Church has to become
interested and invest more in this movement.
In the study, 73.9 percent of the respondents said we cannot in any way justify the killing of oneself, but 25.6 percent said once a person decides on suicide, there is nothing that can be done to prevent the suicide. Here it will be necessary to work to change this type of thinking. Efforts also necessary to find those who are in hopeless situations and do what we can to give hope. The campaign, said a priest involved in the welfare work of the diocese, will need a network to identify those living in situations that pose a danger for suicide and encourage people to become involved.